PPC vs. Organic Search – Which Should You Use?

April 26, 2012 3:23 pm

Choosing PPC or Organic…or Both!

Another local SEO firm put out an article this week comparing Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to organic search. While there was good advice in the article, there were also glaring omissions and unintentionally misleading information that can cost you money and leads. Here’s the information you need when comparing PPC to organic SEO.

Organic SEO typically has more cost-effective long term benefits.  The fact that you don’t have to pay for the specific placement of your ads can save you money over time.  The free positioning (as a result of hard work) is nice to have in the long run.  People will also recognize that it is not an ad, and therefore will likely view it as more relevant.  If you can get organic rankings, they are definitely better and pay off as time goes on.

PPC ads can help you get a quick boost.  If you’re not ranking well in the search engines organically, it’s probably going to take a while to move up to the top position.  In the meantime, you don’t want to miss out on all those potential leads.  If you’re willing to pay to get to the top of the search engines, anything is possible.  You can do this yourself, but a good SEO firm will help you get the most for your dollar.

And that’s how people normally look at PPC vs. organic search.  They think of it as short term/long term.  There is some validity to that, and individually, that’s probably how they are each best used. However, there’s an important element missing here:

Implementing PPC and Organic search together gets you 50% more clicks!

Conventional wisdom would say that when your organic rankings are good, adding PPC is basically wasting your money.  That’s not true though.  Research has shown and proven that if you take away PPC, all of the clicks lost from PPC are not replaced by clicks on your organic rankings, even if you have the #1 spot!

  • If you have the #1 spot and remove PPC, 50% of the clicks you receive from ads will not be recovered by organic search
  • If you have spot #2-4, 82% of the clicks lost will not be recovered by organic search
  • If you have spot #5 or below, 96% of clicks will not be recovered

That’s the danger that’s promoted by some agencies – following their advice could cause you to lose over 50% of your leads!  That’s not smart advice.  Just because you have a good rank, doesn’t mean PPC won’t help.

Sure, if you’re cash strapped, you may not want to pay the additional money for the ads on Google.  Don’t think of it as unhelpful spending – stats show that it’s almost guaranteed to generate more traffic.

Need more advice on your online marketing campaign?  Make sure you find a group that’s done their research.  Our NJ SEO Firm will make sure that you get the most bang for your buck.

We also recommend that before you go to an SEO company for help, you look at 5 Questions to Ask Your SEO Company.

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About The Author

We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!